Tips & tricks to improve your Avoca One piece pattern & Altona bikini.
Listed below a few key points on how best to sew the patterns.
A very important point before we begin is to always take note of the seam allowance.
On these 2 patterns it is 1cm or 3/8 inch throughout. This is particularly important for Stitching the top section to the Under bust band.
Please note -The samples below have been sewn using a Cover stitch machine & and a Overlock / Serger machine. I often use my cover stitch machine to stitch seams together. If you are wondering why you can see straight stitches ,that’s the cover stitch machine.
All Swim Style patterns are designed to be sewn using a basic sewing machine set on a zig zag stitch. As we progress on our sewing journeys we all collect extra machines.So if you have extra machines, Great! You will use these, but if you only have a basic sewing machine that’s fine too!
If you have the combination of a basic machine + Overlocker or Serger.Use the zig zag or fancy stretch stitch on your basic machine to stitch seams together. Stitch in 1 cm/ 3/8 from raw edges to form seams . Once you have stitched the seam you can then overlock or serger the raw edges of seam. If you use this method you will achieve the seam allowance of 1cm / 3/8 inch. This also creates strong seams.
Loops & ties
-Loops use of fabric or flat cord.
You have a choice of making the loops out of the fabric from your swimsuit or you can purchase cord to use.
Fabric loops out of the fabric can be quite bulky. Another option which I prefer is to use a flat cord.
This will reduce the bulk as you sew the loops between the layers of top section & back section if you are making the Avoca one piece.
Cord – Choose a flat cord up to the width of 1cm or 3/8 inch.
Bra Casing – This is another option you can use for the loops. If you are a lingerie sewer, there s a good chance you will have some Underwire bra casing in your sewing stash.
The front tie can be made of any style of cord or the fabric. You can mix & match 2 different styles & colours of cords by using a flat cord for the loops & a rope style for the front tie.
Adding different colours will bring out the contrasts in your fabric print & add a profession look to your make.
Stitch elastic to side edges of top sections. This step is included in the Altona bikini pattern,and can also be followed to sew in the Avoca one piece pattern.
Avoca pattern s purchased after 25 /6 /18 also include this step.
This step is optional.
After you have stitched the Outer top section to the lining,its a great idea to sew elastic into the side edges on the Seam allowance.
This step adds extra support & helps to hold lining inside on side edges.
Retain top section right sides together.
On top section at side edge, Measure & mark -down 3cm or 1 ¼ inches from top raw edge as shown. Mark with a pin or tailors chalk.
Measure & mark 1cm or 3/8 inch up from lower edge at side edge as shown. Mark with a pin or tailors chalk.
Place top sections lining side up.
Pin & Stitch elastic to the side seam allowances of side seams & between marks as shown.
Stretch elastic evenly as you sew. Important sew on seam allowance only
To top sections right sides out.
Lightly press edges & to hold linings to inside.
Clip corners of top edges on each side of top sections.
Turn top section sides out.
Next sewing tip will also assist in holding the linings inside at the top sections.
Before you sew the lower edges together,
Option- Top stitch lining to seam allowance.
Open top sections at lower edges, fold seam allowance of centre fronts & sides to towards lining.
Stitch seam allowance of centre front edges to linings only. Stitch from lower edges up as far as possible on each side & centre front edge of top sections.
As you stitch the side edges include elastic sewn from previous step. Keep outer sections away as you stitch.
A tip on sewing the top section to the Under bust band. This applies to the Altona bikini pattern.
In the next steps its very important you do not trim any of the lower raw edges from the top sections or the under bust band. Both include notches to match the top section to the under bust band. This seam allowance will be turned down and sewn to the back of the under bust band after the top section is sewn to the band.
Black & white picture View wrong side Colour picture is the view from the right side.
You can see I have stitched the top section to the band. The stitch line is 1cm or 3/8 inch from raw edges.
I have overlocked / serger stitch the raw edges after stitching the top to the band. I have not trimmed any seam allowance, its important to keep that seam allowance at this point.
I have also threaded the elastic through Under bust casing/ band. Fastened at each end. As you can see ,it should be a snug fit.
After this step the seam allowance of the Under bust band will be turned over to the wrong side and top stitched into position.Continue following sewing step directions to complete bikini top from Altona bikini pattern.
Sewing tip Bikini briefs Altona bikini
You can also top stitch the lining to the seam allowances on leg seams of the Altona briefs.
This is an optional step in the sewing directions.
Peel the lining from the outer section as shown. Place right sides up. I have folded the seam allowance towards the lining. ( You cannot see it, as it is underneath on the wrong side)
It very important not to catch any of the outer section. This is the same sewing method as used on the top sections.
The directions read as
Option; topstitch lining of leg seams to seam allowances.
Open out briefs section at leg seam as shown.
Fold seam allowance under to lining side. Top stitch leg seam allowance to lining only.
Back legs-Begin at the top edge and stitch as far down to the crotch as possible. Stitch through all thicknesses, Including elastic of back legs seams. Stretch back leg seam slightly as you stitch.
Front legs- Begin at the top edge and stitch as far down to the crotch as possible. (You will find you will be able to sew down to the crotch on the back, and not so far on the front section.) Continue to follow sewing directions for the Altona bikini bottoms.
Just remember on each of these steps above to use a stretch stitch.
I hope you find these sewing tips helpful!
To learn more about these 2 fabulous patterns ,click on the pictures below.
Swim Style patterns